Complementary And Alternative Medicine

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In recent years, there has been a growing popularity in seeking alternative forms of treatment for health care. According to an article by Dr. Lesley Rees and Dr. Andrew Weil, from 1990-1997, the amount spent on alternative health care rose from $13 billion to $38 billion, and more people visited alternative physicians than did conventional physicians (Rees & Weil, 2001). This number is only expected to increase. Most consumers looking to alternative options for treatment do so in order to achieve results as naturally as possible. For some, they turn to alternative modes of treatment because conventional methods did not work to treat their health concern. Often times, consumers opt to seek these holistic treatments in conjunction with treatments …show more content…
According to the author of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Sourcebook (2010), "CAM is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered to be part of conventional medicine" (p. 3). CAM encompasses both complementary medicine, which is when alternative forms of treatment are used alongside conventional medicine, and alternative medicine, which are treatments and remedies used in the place of conventional medical treatment (Sutton, 2010, pp. 3-4). There are several different subsets of CAM which include natural healing systems called whole medical systems, which include ancient medical systems such as Ayurvedic medicine from India and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), as well as acupuncture, naturopathy, and homeopathy; dietary therapy, which includes supplements, herbal remedies, and nutritional therapy; biologic therapies, including detoxification dieting, aromatherapy, and essential oil use; and mind-body medicine, which seeks to treat a patient from the inside out in forms of therapy such as meditation, music therapy, tai chi, and yoga (Sutton, 2010). These forms of treatment can be used alone or alongside conventional medical treatments to treat both new and existing …show more content…
However, perhaps the most underrated use of complementary and alternative medicine is in the prevention of these illnesses and diseases. In an article in the British Medical Journal, Dr. Rees and Dr. Weil discuss how truly integrated medicine focuses not only on the treatment of an illness, disease, or injury, but rather a means to utilize both conventional and complementary and alternative methods in order to obtain overall wellness (Rees & Weil, 2001). It is no secret that the decline in public health in recent years can be in part attributed to poor dietary habits and instruction. Diet therapy, including nutritional evaluation and instruction, vitamin and mineral increase or reduction, as well as dietary and herbal supplement recommendation have shown to reduce the risks of various chronic diseases such as heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes (Hill, Fleming, & Kris-Etherton, 2009). Many conventional physicians are recommending diet alteration to prevent disease should blood test results find a risk factor or family history or predisposition for a disease is evident. This is commonly seen with patients who show signs, have family history, or risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Many conventional physicians will, alongside

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